Anglo American continues to ramp up preparations towards a restart at its Grosvenor metallurgical coal mine in Queensland, with first development coal washed in September.
The company is currently undertaking a staged approach at the mine with the aim to recommence longwall operations by the end of 2021, subject to the approval of the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.
It follows on from a methane ignition accident that injured five people in May 2020, suspending operations as a result.
Workers re-entered the mine in April to conduct safety and compliance inspections, and restore power and gas monitoring to the mine.
In readiness for personnel re-entry, Anglo American completed works to permanently seal the impacted area of the mine with five large concrete seals.
The company also installed additional gas monitoring infrastructure and completed a highly rigorous risk assessment process, drawing on both internal and external experts.
Anglo American’s export metallurgical coal production decreased by 11 per cent to approximately 4.3 million tonnes for the September quarter, as operations at its Moranbah North coal mine in the Queensland were impacted by challenging geological conditions for most of the quarter.
The performances of Anglo American’s Dawson and Capcoal mines partly offset the reduced levels. The two sites increased production levels after having scaled back production volumes since mid-2020 in response to reduced demand for their particular products.
Anglo American experienced increased productions in iron ore, rough diamond, manganese and nickel across its global operations, with chief executive Mark Cutifani pleased with work of his company across the last three months.
“Production is up 2 per cent compared to the third quarter (Q3) of last year, with our operating levels generally maintained at approximately 95 per cent of normal capacity (excluding Grosvenor),” he said.
“The increase in production is led by planned higher rough diamond production at De Beers, increased production from our Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil, reflecting the planned pipeline maintenance in Q3 2020, and improved plant performance at our Kumba iron ore operations in South Africa.”